The Emperor’s New Clothes – Video 20 – Album “Songs From the West Coast”

2 08 2010

Two blogs, two days…not bad!  So today’s post is The Emperor’s New Clothes, the first track from Elton John’s 2001 release, Songs From the West Coast.  You might be thinking to yourself, “Songs From the West Coast was definitely not released right after the Elton John album.”  And you are right for thinking this.  In fact there were nearly 40 albums in between the two.  Bottom line, I was bored with going in strictly chronological order, and there was some pretty high interest for me to play this album.  So my plan is to go through the entire Songs From the West Coast album and then maybe throw it back to an older album and sort of alternate between new and old to keep things interesting.

After all that explanation, here is why I am so interested in doing this album.  I remember the lead up to this album coming out and hearing all this press about it being Elton’s return to form.  And it truly was a return to form from everything to instrumentation to the way it was recorded.  But to me the most important “return to form” is Elton’s piano work on the album.  It is a fun album to play as a piano player and its chalked full of fantastic piano riffs.  I remember my first listen to the album and thinking, “this is the best thing I’ve ever heard him do.”  And while this may be an over-statement, it’s certainly worthy of a great deal of praise.  The opening track is a totally piano based song that is a very simple striped down ballad, yet it sets the tone for what was undoubtedly Elton’s best effort since the early 80’s if not since his hay-day in the 70’s.

So without further ado, please enjoy my rendition of The Emperor’s New Clothes.  And as always, thank so much for your support and kind words.

We bet on our lives and we bet on the horses
In that upstairs apartment on Orlando and 4th
And the rent was due and the rent man was knocking
Like a Chinese proverb we were always searching

Nightlife’s a no-win but nobody noticed
How we killed off the bottles looking good on the surface
The dog days barked and the house cat got old
We were Bonnie and Clyde in the emperor’s new clothes

And the tears never came
They just stayed in our eyes
We refused to admit that we wore this disguise
Every inch of us growing
Like Pinocchio’s nose
As we walked around in the emperor’s new clothes

We flew by our wits and by the seat of our pants
In the state of illusion in the nation of chance
And the repo was hauling the wreck we’d been driving
As the dashboard Madonna smiled back at us kindly

We cheated the system never batting an eyelid
Seeing only the good through the holes in our shoes
And our halos were rusty but we wore them proudly
We were two little gods in the emperor’s new clothes

We were Bonnie and Clyde in the emperor’s new clothes

© 2001 Happenstance

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